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How to Handle Raising a Child with Health Problems

Tove Maren March 16, 2015 The following is written by Tove Maren:

I am the mother of four boys ages eight and younger. One of our little ones is medically complex and was diagnosed a few days after his text-book-delivery via scheduled c-section. He spent the first two months fighting for his life in the PICU, in a medically induced coma and hooked up to 15 pumps running medication into his little body. Raising a Child with Medical Conditions

Slowly (ever so slowly) he got better, stronger, and is now older and currently “within normal ranges” for his condition. To say that we have come far is a great understatement. Together with our little blonde-haired, blue-eyed wonder, we have scaled mountains and crossed oceans—and we would do it all again if it means getting him to where he is today.

Unfortunately, we were not prepared to raising a child with health problems. There was no advance warning, no notification, simply a curve ball that came and hit us upside the head when we were told to take him to the emergency room at five days old.

This is common to most families when they start their medical journey. You are flying at the seat of your pants, unprepared without a road map. Fumbling your way through the “system,” watching your child struggle and suffer through pain and setbacks is taxing on anyone, especially parents (and your relationship with each other and the outside world).

But there is light, hope and calmer seas in sight. Brighter skies are not solely contingent on your child’s health: there are smiles to be found within hospital walls. Once you “adjust to the new normal,” that is when you can find joy in the daily routine, even if it involves administering medications around the clock, watching vitals, seeing doctors and feeling like a medical encyclopedia spewing endless numbers and stats about your child. There is time for warmth and laughter.

Adjust to your “new normal” in five steps:

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